2021/2022 NewWorks Winner

Congratulations to our 21/22 NewWorks winner!

Benjamin Bolden, Snow

After more than a decade – and a CD recording of many of our winning entries – DaCapo has decided that 2021/22 will be the final offering of the NewWorks choral composition competition. We are thrilled to announce that our final competition winner is Benjamin Bolden, for his entry Snow.

The composition, which uses Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening”, was praised by our cross-country panel of jurors. Director Leonard Enns says: “the piece is a lovely setting of Frost’s trademark poem, described by jurors as “very singable,” showing “maturity and restraint, appropriate to the text! Beautifully done.”

We are very excited to premiere Snow next season!

Ben was also the winner of our 2016 competition, for his entry Harvest – which you can hear on our NewWorks recording.

Benjamin Bolden

Dr. Benjamin Bolden, music educator and composer, is an associate professor and UNESCO Chair of Arts and Learning in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Canada. His research interests include arts education, music education, the learning and teaching of composing, creativity, arts-based research, assessment in the arts, teacher education, teacher knowledge, and teachers’ professional learning. Ben is currently working on a project with UNESCO that identifies and illuminates how teachers across the globe can support transformative education for global citizenship and sustainable development through arts learning experiences. As a teacher, Ben has worked with pre-school, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan. Ben is an award-winning associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and his compositions have been performed by a variety of professional and amateur performing ensembles across Canada and internationally.

Notes about Snow

I began composing this piece in the depths of a pandemic winter. To be honest, at the time there didn’t seem much point in writing choral music. However, I learned that many of Robert Frost’s poems had entered the public domain, and used that as motivation to stop thinking about all that stood in the way, and to start composing again.

In the beginning of the piece I was aiming to capture some of what is ominous about cold and snow, and then some of the uneasiness of the narrator (and the horse) as they wonder if they are perhaps trespassing in this place. But then the musical language shifts to echo the sense of wonder and deliciousness of being amongst snowy trees. Frost’s poem evokes for me what I feel when I enter into a forest—when I start to breathe more deeply, sense a weight lifting from my shoulders, and lean into nature’s embrace.

NewWorks Sponsors

The DaCapo Chamber Choir gratefully acknowledges the support of:

  • Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation
  • City of Kitchener
  • City of Waterloo